Organic standards for milk, produce clarified

WASHINGTON, DC, October 21, 2004 (ENS): The 15 member National Organic Standards Board, responsible for developing standards for substances to be used in organic production in the United States, has won clarification of three standards from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Last week, at the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) public meeting in Washington, DC, the USDA verbally "concurred" with three out of the four NOSB inputs on the directives issued by USDA concerning milk, produce and fishmeal.

For complete commentary and a detailed look at all the issues discussed at the meeting read the latest:

ORGANICS IN THE NEWS
by NOSB Chair Jim Riddle.

These directives were publicly rescinded by Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman last May, but there was widespread concern among many groups, including the Consumers' Union, that the interpretations made in the directives remained as the standing policy of the USDA.

USDA officials concurred that antibiotics or other prohibited substances should not be allowed for use on the organic dairy farm.

Prohibited pesticide ingredients cannot be used on crops, officials reaffirmed.

And any synthetics used in fishmeal, as a protein supplement for livestock, are prohibited unless reviewed by the NOSB and approved for organic production.

Consumers Union considers the responses from the USDA to be a positive step in the right direction. But the consumers advocacy organization, which publishes "Consumers' Report" magazine, said that it "does not want to see USDA quietly revisiting these issues as they did this past summer which led to considerable confusion about the status of the directives."

Consumers Union and others have asked the USDA to issue dated written responses and to post them on the National Organic Program website so that consumers, farmers and certifiers are clear about USDA's current interpretation of the organic standards.

A detailed discussion of the three directives is online at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/nosb/meetingbooks/Oct2004/tableofcontents.htm

Consumers Union cautions that until the USDA establishes organic standards for fish farms, for pet food and for personal care products, the claims on labels cannot be relied upon to meet organic criteria, however defined.

CU's advice to consumers is "save your money and don't buy organic fish, pet food or personal care products until the USDA provides additional standards."

The USDA has announced that the first audit of the National Organic Program has been completed by the American National Standards Institute and will be released in mid-November. This audit will provide the public, farmers and certifiers with a report card of how well the USDA is managing the accreditation of certifiers and where improvement is needed.

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/oct2004/2004-10-21-09.asp#anchor2


Recent news and research

404 Not Found
bluehost Affordable, Reliable
Web Hosting Solutions.

404 Error File Not Found

The page you are looking for might have been removed,
had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

Web Hosting provided by Bluehost.com

Stay Up-to-Date –
Sign up for our Newsletter

NewFarm.org changes daily! Don't miss out on the latest interactive features, columns and news. Sign up now for our monthly e-newsletter and stay connected.

ACTION ALERTS

•Free the meat markets! End packer ownership and stop closed-door deals

• Support Saskatchewan farmers in efforts to block GM wheat

• Stop budget cuts to conservation programs--the one's that help you pay for environmentally sound farming practices!

Share Your Stories

Are you a farmer? A consumer? Whatever story you have to tell, let it be an inspiration to others.
Share it with us now...

T H E    N E W    F A R M – R E G E N E R A T I V E    A G R I C U L T U R E    W O R L D W I D E